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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: One L or two?

A: One.

Q: Why aren't you on {Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, forums . . .}?

A: I have a feature-rich but rather unusable API that does include support for (alisonchaiken), IRC (Alison_Chaiken) and Google Buzz (my email address).

Q: Are you related to Paul Chaikin of Princeton University's Physics Department?

A: Not that I know of, although my grandfather's cousin, Albert Chaikin of NYC, might be related to Paul. They couldn't spel gud at Elis Iland. Albert was a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman. We do have a cousin Norman Chaikin.

Q: What about Joseph Chaikin, the producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival? Or Harley Shaiken, the labor scholar? Or Ilene Chaiken, the television producer? Or Jennifer Chaiken, the award-winning documentary filmmaker? Or human beatbox Andrew Chaikin, aka Kid Beyond? Or Julie Chaiken, creator of "Chaiken pants?"

A: Who knows. Check our amazin' family tree.

Q: What about Andrew Chaikin, the unabashed space-program enthusiast whose breathless commentaries are heard on NPR's Morning Edition?

A: No. Definitely not.

Q: What's your contact info at HP?

A: It's in this file.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: Flexible electronics.

Q: Are there are other Chaikens on the Internet?

A: Of course. You can check out my brother Gary's business, Village Ski and Sport in Lincoln, NH. My cousin Warren is at Almo Corp., the family business. On my mother's side of the family there's John Darnton, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the recent bestseller The Experiment. His brother is Robert Darnton, author of the more scholarly Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. Last but not least, my grandfather Ernest A. Choate wrote Dictionary of American Bird Names, which has been in print since 1973.

Q: What kind of name is Chaiken, anyway?

A: My grandfather said the family is from Nezhin in the Ukraine. A Russian dictionary once told me that Chaiken means "sign of the seagull" and comes from the same root as Tchaikovsky. However, the reknowned Mikhail Zeleny believes that Chaiken means "tea merchant." George Chaikin of Cooper Union in New York says his sources claim that chaika colloquially meant "lively woman" and that "Chaiken" was a name meaning "son of Chaika." Udi Cain authoritatively offers the opinion:

    The Chaikin family (which is being written in Hebrew:
    Khet-Yod-Yod-Kof-Yod-Nun) are indeed of Belarussian origin.  Admo'r Chaim
    Chaikel, who was one of the first Hassidic Admo'rs, was a disciple of
    Rabbi Eliahu of Vilna, and became a student of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mazerich.
    His daughter married Moshe, son of Jacob and Perel, from Karlin (near
    Pinsk).  Moshe's famous brother, was Aharon (1736 - 1772), the founder of
    Karlin Hassidism.  Chaikel himself, was born to Rabbi Shmuel in Karlin,
    but died in Amdur (Indura) in 1787.  Moshe was nicknamed Chaikel's, which
    became Chaikin ! 

Q: What is the city of Nezhin famous for?

A: It's the cucumber capital of the former Soviet Union. (I know because a Tass correspondent told me!) And Nikolai Gogol was born there. Believe it or not, there is a Chaiken Family of Nezhin webpage.

Q: By any chance are you single and straight?

A: Yes, on the off-chance that any single, straight male reader has persisted this far.

Q: Can women really be physicists?

A: Naturally. Women can even play electric guitar. Chrissie Hynde's advice to women rock-and-rollers is, with a few obvious substitutions, excellent advice for women scientists as well.

Q: What is "exercise for the reader" anyway?

A: The most popular form of mathematical proof.

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last updated $Date: 2006/03/11 05:46:04 $ ..